Original artworks impress at the William Morris Centre

1) Artists and staff at the William Morris Centre art exhibition
Artists and staff at the William Morris Centre art exhibition

The walls of the William Morris Centre on our Bracton Centre campus have been adorned with a fantastic exhibition of paintings which opened on Thursday 27 June. All the artworks were created by artists who are also service users.

2) Andrew Jazzer with some of his work
Andrew Jazzer with some of his work

The William Morris Centre Art Project was set up in 2012 and the exhibition - the project's first - runs for three months. Contributors include artists based in the community who use services at the William Morris Centre and others resident in the Bracton Centre, our medium secure unit. While the project has been facilitated by Robert Percival, Assistant Psychologist and Colin Berry, Psychotherapist, it has been very much driven by the artists and the works on display are a testament to a lot of hard work and a great deal of talent. There were around 60 visitors on the opening day and some were so impressed they bought paintings on the spot.

The William Morris Centre provides psychological therapy for men and women with longstanding emotional, relational and interpersonal difficulties, often referred to as personality disorder or difficulties.

The artworks, which are highly accomplished, are all for sale and proceeds will be split between the artists and the project, to help ensure its continuation in the future. There is no single theme to the exhibition but artists have their own personal space on the walls to explore their ideas and interests. Colin Berry says that it has been important that they are recognised as artists: "This is a group of people who are working together consciously as artists and this gives great meaning to their lives. The project has grown organically from their passions and interests."

Andrew Jazzer, who is a founding member of the art project and lives in the community, explained that art has always been central to his life: "I couldn't read or write when I was young, so when my mum sent me to the shops I used to draw the shopping list, like a tin of baked beans for instance. These are the first paintings that I've done but I've always drawn. Some of my paintings are developed from the 500 or so drawings that I had after spending 38 years in prison. I get a lot of pleasure from art and would like to make larger works in future and continue to work together with other artists."

You can visit the exhibition by appointment until September. Call Robert or Colin on 01322 297175 for details.

Published on 1st July 2013